Category Archives for Empathy

TSE 1188: 3 tips to improve Closing

TSE 1188: 3 Tips to Improve Closing

Johnny-Lee Reinoso, Donald C. Kelly, Closing

For organizations looking to expand their footprint and extend their reach, these 3 tips to improve closing will help them achieve those goals.

Johnny-Lee Reinoso operates a sales and marketing firm called C Level Partners that helps organizations expand their footprint, gain new clients, and move in the direction of their goals. He believes that sales is everything. His experience from the management side, from the individual side, and from the sales rep side gives him a unique multi-level vantage point.

1. Listen to understand

The biggest challenge Johnny-Lee consistently sees is that sellers listen to reply rather than listening to understand. He recently carried out a DILO, or a “day in the life of” exercise with a lean, mature team that all suffered from the same problem. They all listened while waiting for the opportunity to explain why their company was so great.

Sellers master the art of articulating their value, but before we win in the marketplace we have to master the art of listening. We’ve all heard it before, perhaps in the saying, “Telling is not selling.”

But if we truly applied this truth to our everyday behaviors both in and out of business, we would know exactly how to articulate our value proposition to become the solution that the prospect needs.

2. Exhibit empathy

In many cases, the discovery call that precedes the demo doesn’t actually help the seller understand the challenges the seller is facing. In order to understand the problems they are trying to solve, you must listen and develop empathy for the pain they are feeling.

Empathy helps us understand why people do certain things and how they end up where they are. When you care about helping people, you’ll be able to support them while they tackle the challenges they face.

When we ask questions that lead them down the path of discovery, our prospects will outline exactly what they need and how you can help.

Empathy acknowledges how the existing challenges affect the company’s bottom line and understands how important it is to consider shareholder value in the face of problems.

Empathy cannot be rushed.

When you communicate that you’re with them in the challenge, you’ll become a trusted advisor.

You cannot begin the work of solving a problem until you understand several things.

  1. You must understand the challenge and how the prospect got where he is today.
  2. You must understand whether he seems himself getting out of the situation.
  3. You must understand how impactful it is for the business if he doesn’t get out of the situation.

Once you build empathy and understand those three things, you can begin the next step of prescribing.

3. Prescribe with confidence

There’s a fine line between arrogance and confidence, and you must prescribe solutions with confidence.

An arrogant person might immediately say, for example, “I have exactly what you’re looking for.” Arrogant people don’t listen.

When you do step 2 right and you have empathy and understanding, you’ll find yourself in the position of a therapist of sorts. Like a therapist, you have to be welcoming, calm, and professional.

Therapists don’t say, “Wow, you’re messed up.” They also don’t say things like, “I’m exactly what you need to solve your problem.” Instead, they operate with confidence, saying things like, “I’m so glad you took the first step. I’ve dealt with similar challenges before and I know we can get where you want to be.”

Therapists become trusted advisors. They communicate that they are looking out for the patient’s best interests.

Confident sellers must do the same.

Pay attention to tonality

Tonality is critical to communicating the right level of confidence. Be enthusiastic. Be happy and excited that you’re speaking with a credible person.

Recognize the two different kinds of buyers: technical and economic. Technical buyers are people who can use your service but can’t make the decision to buy your service or product. Economic buyers make the ultimate decision.

There are two different ways of closing those two kinds of buyers. Because you can only engage a technical buyer for a certain period of time, you’ll eventually have to divert to the economic buyer.

Know how to ask questions like this: “I know you’ve been looking to address this challenge for quite some time. Is it common in your organization to bring the CFO in at this point to make the final decision?”

You must sniff technical buyers out early in the sales process.

Never ever give a proposal to someone who can’t buy.

Using phrases like “this is what we have been doing,” and “working with companies like yours,” communicates confidence. Eliminate phrases that include “I think,” or “it should.” #Tonality

Confidence

Passion is extremely contagious. You have to know when to elevate a pitch or speak faster or slower. Johnny-Lee is a firm believer that tonality creates the environment. Because prospects who are on the phone can’t see you, they are still picturing something. They are picturing whether you’re tall or short, aggressive or not. They can picture you, and it’s your job to make sure they picture you as a trusted advisor.

Confidence comes from studying your value proposition. You have to understand your value proposition. You also have to readily know what your value proposition has done in the workplace. That means knowing the stories and the case studies.

People are sold auditorily, visually, and kinesthetically. Tell your stories with passion, with conviction, and with numbers because people love numbers and percentages.

Don’t share numbers if they haven’t shared their stories and their challenges with you first.

Acquire

Don’t admire what other organizations and colleagues and sales leaders are doing. Acquire what they’ve been doing, and exceed the expectations you’ve set for yourself.

Instead of comparing your personal and professional life to the people around you, humble yourself and ask questions of those who achieved those levels of success. That will help you build a roadmap to success in all areas of your life.

“3 Tips to Improve Closing” episode resources

If you’d like to connect with Johnny-Lee, email him jlr@reinosoglobal.com.

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register!

You can also connect with me at donald@thesalesevangelist.com or try our first module of TSE Certified Sales Training Program for free. This episode has been made possible with the help of TSE Certified Sales Training Program, a training course designed to help sellers in improving their performance. We want you guys to go out each and every single day to find more ideal customers and do big things.

I hope you like and learned many things from this episode. If you did, please review us and give us a five-star rating on Apple podcast or in any platform you’re using – Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can also share this with your friends and colleagues.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Sales Reps, Time Management, Donald C. Kelly

TSE 1167: My Sales Reps Say They Are Too Busy…I Think This Is Crap!

 

Sales Reps, Time Management, Donald C. KellySales reps and sales leaders face a lot of challenges, and some sales reps say they are too busy. Sometimes the problems are nothing major, but on some other times, the problem causes a ripple in the revenue. One situation that causes such a negative impact in sales is when salespeople claim that their pipeline is down due to busyness. This is when sales reps spend much of their time helping current customers find opportunities and they no longer have the time to bring new business or clients. 

This is a common situation among sales leaders and sales reps. It is a legitimate question because sometimes, sales reps come up with excuses and they don’t recognize that. Sales reps often have too much on their plate and they get so busy which then prevents them from getting out and doing sales activity. 

Size of your organization 

What is the size of your organization? This is an important question because if you’re working in an organization with sales in a small company, the sales rep is doing the prospecting and finding leads. After that, the sales rep tries to convert the leads into appointments that lead up to initial conversations. They build value, negotiate, and maintain the account. The sales reps are there in the entire process, but doing all that can cause problems. 

If you’re in an enterprise organization, the sales reps’ main responsibility is closing deals. If you have different departments and individuals doing BDR work, researching, getting leads, doing client success, and managing accounts then there shouldn’t be any problem. 

For small organizations, the sales reps are doing everything and the sales reps legitimately may be too busy. 

Empathy 

As sales manager, your first course of action is to show empathy. We can’t expect our sales reps to go out and show empathy to the prospects without giving them our empathy first. We need to truly understand where they’re coming from.

For example, if a prospect says that the software isn’t working, you don’t argue with him. We can’t exactly tell the prospects to go figure the software out. The same is true for our sales reps. We can’t tell them to figure things out and make it happen. Give them the benefit of the doubt, hear them out first, and figure out why they feel overwhelmed. 

Sales managers are busy people and you might feel that you don’t have enough time to manage everything, but you have to do it. You have to go to the second step after empathizing. 

Diagnose 

The next step is diagnosing. Start this by creating a time audit sheet. It can be on a word document or whatever means possible. Have your sales reps list all the tasks they do in a day,  including answering questions, answering prospects, reaching out on LinkedIn, and many others. They have to write everything down and the length of time they spent doing each task. 

Finally, they need to label whether it’s a sales task or an admin task. If it’s something that directly connects to bringing new business in the organization, then label it as a sales task. 

Reaching out for a client in LinkedIn is a sales activity but going through contracts in the database isn’t. In that case, have somebody else in the organization go through the contracts. Free up sales reps from doing admin tasks and let them do activities that directly tie to getting new prospects. #Revenue

Another example is cleaning up the CRM. This isn’t a sales activity, especially if it’s not in prime time. Maybe you can do this at home or delegate it to somebody else instead of letting the sales reps do it. 

On a scale of 1-3 

After putting labels to the tasks, categorize them on a scale of 1 – 3. 

  • 1 – it’s directly tied to bringing new business 
  • 2 – average
  • 3 – it’s not so directly tied to bringing new business 

Doing this will make you see that the majority of the sales reps’ time is spent on admin related activities. In smaller organizations, sales reps must do all kinds of tasks but you can avoid this. 

Getting a sales resource individual to help the sales rep find prospects is a great idea. 

The sales research rep connects with the operations department and makes sure that jobs are fulfilled. If the sales rep was to find a prospect and need a particular product or service to seal the deal, the sales research rep would do that task instead. The sales rep would have enough time to go and look for other prospects and clients. 

Sales research reps are very much like project managers. They see to it that everything gets done and that the proper products and samples needed by the sales reps are provided and presented to the client. 

This saves a lot of time and promotes efficiency in the organization. 

The sales research reps are assistant to the sales reps and do the admin tasks for the sales reps. This way, the sales reps become more productive with their time. 

You can do this to your company, too. Find some individuals who can help you alleviate the struggles of the sellers and let the sellers focus on what they do best: making sales. 

“Sales Reps Say They Are Too Busy” episode resource

Companies differ and what works for others may not work for you. Whatever the case may be, let us know of the results. You can connect with me via our Facebook page or LinkedIn. Drop me a message and let me know if this works well for your organization. 

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Training Sales Program. A course to guide sales reps and sales leaders to become better in doing their pitches and presentations. It has 12 courses to help you find the right customers, ask the right questions, and close great deals. You can get the first two modules for free! 

Or you can also check out Audible as well and explore this huge online library with thousands of books. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Thank you for tuning in and if you liked this episode, do give a rating and review on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Justin Dauer, Empathy, Accountability, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 1143: Building a Culture of Empathy and Accountability

Justin Dauer, Empathy, Accountability, The Sales EvangelistEvery organization needs a culture of empathy and accountability no matter what it’s doing. Sometimes, we only have empathy and neglect accountability but it’s important to have both. Justin Dauer is with us in this episode to explain to us how to get both and give recommendations on the right way to do it. 

Justin is the VP of the Human Center Design at BSwift, a healthcare and benefits management firm owned by CVS Health.  He is also a writer and a public speaker when he isn’t in his 9-5 job, and he enjoys talking about humility, empathy, and accountability. 

Discovering agency culture 

Justin’s entire career revolves around agencies primarily in the creative direction. In his 10 years being in the business, he observed that agency culture tends to burn people out.

In some cultures, the driving factor is perceived by who went out the door last, regardless of the reasons why others left earlier. Maybe they went to pick up their kids from school or went to a doctor’s appointment. Meanwhile, whatever their reasons are, someone else in the firm is tapping a wristwatch noting the fact that they left early.

This buildup of passive-aggressive situations in the agency space resonates to many because they have experienced it too. 

He got a tremendous amount of feedback so he knew it was an important topic, which prompted him to write a book about it. 

Burnout

Burnout has a domino effect that is detrimental to an organization or an agency, partly because agency space is often about making money. Most times, a name on a spreadsheet doesn’t equate to an individual. The name has to do the work and that’s all there is. 

Justin shared the same experience before he was in a senior position. He’d come to the office and face a stack of papers, printouts, and a load of work with red lines on them. His value for the day depended on the quantity of work he could do for the day, without regard for quality in the process. 

There is no room to pause in some agencies, so employees can’t do anything not work-related, even in their free time. They fear that if their supervisor walks by and sees them, he’ll ask why they aren’t working. Employees are constantly on the edge, which isn’t healthy and wears them down. But as human beings, we all need to pause and calibrate. 

Another example of burnout is the cost of hiring people over and over again, which takes a toll on the organization’s morale. 

Addressing the issue 

Solving this takes action, not lip service. It’s good to start by demonstrating respect and humility. Humility is baked into both empathy and accountability. Humility is when a leader admits a mistake and follows up with an action plan. 

Dialog is a two-way street, which means less oration and delegation but more of a collaboration. Once a mistake has been made, admit it. This is what accountability is about. 

People who work in high-stress environments have little pockets of culture. They might gather in a kitchen and talk about something related to their craft. Saturating the culture from the top communicates that when they make a mistake, there’s a culture of support where people will rally around them and help them improve.  

Leaders must set the tone

Leaders have to set the tone. They should be the first to trust that their employees have done their job before they leave work for personal errands. Consider, too, that some may be single parents taking half the day off to pick up their kids from school. The simple concept of trust is something that’s taken for granted when it shouldn’t be taken for granted at all. 

Some organizations have a culture of fostering growth where leaders are truly leaders rather than taskmasters. When they find a problem, they ask questions, and they open a dialog to discover solutions to the problem. 

The same thing happened to me in the past where my team members share stuff with me. I made a culture of discussing things with each other and it proved to be a good move. Team members share their brilliant ideas that I couldn’t have conceived on my own, and it made the work more efficient. 

Everyone has value

It is ideal to have everyone be involved in the thought process when running a workshop. The same is also true in business. You want people from C-level to people who are answering the phone in the room because everyone has a voice and that voice has value. Hierarchies should be thrown out the window. 

In business, everyone’s viewpoint is important, from the stakeholders to the other people in the room with different perspectives. 

Sales leaders and managers must be cognizant of what the new hire thinks when they come in. They have to be aware that they won’t be scoffed at and demanded to go back to their desks when they get coffee from the coffee machine. They need to know that they are not chained to their desks and that they are allowed to work on another floor or to take their laptops outside if it’s not against company rules. 

Simplicity 

Another way to create a culture within the organization is through simplicity. People will more likely engage with things that are simple and easily understood.. Simplicity is also clarity which is one of Scott M. Cutlip’s  Seven C’s of Communication. What you’re saying should be exactly what you mean. 

Government Digital Services in the UK fosters this kind of cultural sense. They put up signs that say ‘It’s okay to x’, that it’s okay not to check their email after work, that it’s okay to have a day-off, and that it’s okay to pause and talk to their coworkers. These are simple and clear and people engage in them. It makes sense for businesses to do this as well but it’s still put by the wayside.  

Top-to-bottom approach

We did this in one of the companies I worked for where they gave us a Wii. It was super cool and we could play the Wii to destress and have a good time. The company was a small organization and we got all the people to be in the break area for 10-15 minutes and play Wii bowling. But then the sales leaders saw us playing and told the CEO about it. They told us that we could play it either before work or after work, and nobody touched it since. 

It was the culture that killed it. We could have had that 15-minute break and then go back to our desks afterward but the culture says that you can’t have fun. It says that growing a business and growing sales can’t be fun. This goes to show that when you don’t have the culture built from the top then clearly, you’re in trouble. 

The danger in perks is that sometimes it can take away one’s individuality, too. Some big tech companies have sleeping pods where you can zone out for a little bit. They get you a cab or buy you dinner if you work beyond 9 p.m. or they send someone to get your laundry at home. These perks look good on paper but they keep people in the office and squeeze more hours out of them and marginalize them and take their individuality away. They think of these people more as a production line who is there to work and sacrifice their personal life. So we must all be wary about perks like that. 

Be observant 

If you are someone looking for a job in any industry, maybe in tech or in sales, keep your head on a swivel and be observant. When you’re looking for a position, really poke in on the culture and see the things that are important to you. Are the people validated and supported? Poke in on their level of accountability as an organization.

Be involved and have a dialogue; you’re just not there to be grilled. Ask questions or talk to people who have worked there or who are working there. The manner in which your questions are received is a huge indicator of the validity of their response. Do these things before signing because you’ll never be able to do these dialogue and transparent conversations when you’ve signed the papers. 

In the end, it’s important to respect people ultimately because that goes beyond being a good person and being a good human being. Respect, humility, and empathy go far in the workplace. It permeates innovation, office dynamics, and creativity. It permeates everything. The golden rule always applies – treat others the same way you want to be treated. This permeates so many things at the business level, the profitability level, and the quality of work level. 

Building a Culture of Empathy and Accountability” episode resources

Connect with Jason (@pseudoroom) by following him on Twitter, and his online portfolio at Pseudoroom.com. He also has a book entitled Cultivating a Creative Culture and a second edition that’s coming by next year. 

You can also connect with me at donald@thesalesevangelist.com or try our first module of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program or free. This episode has been made possible with the help of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program, a training course designed to help sellers in improving their performance. 

I hope you like and learned many things from this episode. If you did, please review us and give us a five-star rating on Apple podcast or in any platform you’re using – Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify.  You can also share this with your friends and colleagues. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Building Value, Ken Rutsky

TSE 1106: Why Assessing Value is Not As Simple As It Sounds, and How Companies Often Get This Wrong

Building Value, Ken Rutsky

Value is in the eye of the buyer, and because assessing value is not as simple as it sounds, companies often get this wrong.

Ken Rutsky specializes in helping companies tell their story in a way that connects it to the customer. He says that value is all connected to the stories we tell.

Defining value

We’re trying to sell something. Essentially what we’re doing is making a trade of the two things they value the most in order of least to more. Money is the thing everybody values, but often buyers value their time even more. They value the time they spend understanding, evaluating, and implementing a solution or a product.

We’re asking our buyers for two rare commodities, so we have to deliver something that is equal to or hopefully greater in value.

As a result, the simple definition of value is what will the customer open his wallet and pay for?

Many sales reps perceive that they are creating value but that may not be the case because assessing value is not as simple as it seems.

Perceived value

Ken said that the biggest mistake sales reps make is overvaluing value. Seems strange to say in a discussion all about value, but it’s true.

If we’re sitting next to each other on an airplane and I’m showing you pictures of my four kids, by the third kid you’ve probably seen enough. We tend to get excited about our goods and services just like we do about our kids. Many times, we want to show the client thousands of pictures of it. We overvalue what they’ll see in it.

Instead, we really need to relate our product to our customers.

Sales doesn’t work the way it once did. Your customer doesn’t need you to tell him about your product. They’ll go to your website and find out everything they ever wanted to know.

In the book Launching to Leading, Ken talks about how salespeople should succeed today. Start by creating that shared context with the customer. Realize, too, that it’s the customer’s context, not yours.

Viewpoint

You have to start the conversation about your customer’s world. Come in educated about how you can transform your customer’s world.

In a recent survey of B2B buyers, business buyers ranked product knowledge as the 8th most important factor in the process. They ranked the seller’s ability to understand the buyer’s business as the number one priority.

Number 2 was the ability to teach the customer something he didn’t already know. Don’t enter the relationship with the intent to sell something. Instead, have a conversation about their business, and then teach them something.

Teaching is critical to establishing your value as a salesperson. If the customer isn’t learning from you, he could just as easily go to your website instead. In fact, most customers are 60 percent through the process before they ever want to speak to a salesperson.

Find a teaching opportunity.

Stories

Realistically, it is marketing’s job to create the stories, but the sellers are the ones who must deliver them and create context around them.

Marketing is a one-to-many art. Great sales reps show up and contextualize the stories. Understand the story of your product and how it transforms your customers’ business.

You have to do the hard work of understanding all these things. There is no magic shortcut.

Empathy

Sales leaders must operate with a sense of empathy. Understand that marketing is working hard to provide the stories and the materials. If marketing feels like they aren’t getting the things they need, there’s a shared responsibility to make that connection.

Marketers must have empathy for the pressures and difficulties of selling. Great marketers have empathy for sellers. They understand the need to work as a team.

Leaders must create that environment of empathy across the organization.

Confidence

Sales reps have to be competent and courageous enough to show the product very early in the sales cycle. Whether it’s a true demonstration or a case study, sellers have to demonstrate value if they want customers to believe it.

Don’t wait six weeks into the sales cycle. Demonstrate early and often. Sellers must have the ability to create and demonstrate their own contexts.

Teach your customer something and then show them how the product can enable the thing you taught him. It can happen in the first call and then it should happen again and again through the process.

The teaching diminishes as the process goes along because the customer already understands the possibility.

Your competition may be showing the products sooner because prospects don’t have the patience they used to have.

Do the homework and understand your customer and everything follows from there. Assessing value is not as simple as it sounds.

“Assessing Value is Not As Simple As It Sounds” episode resources

You can connect with Ken at kenrutsky.com. You can find information about him and his clients, and grab a copy of his book, Launching to Leading.

Connect with me at donald@thesalesevangelist.com.

Try the first module of the TSE Certified Sales Training Program for free.

This episode is brought to you by the TSE Certified Sales Training Program. I developed this training course because I struggled early on as a seller. Once I had the chance to go through my own training, I noticed a hockey-stick improvement in my performance.

TSE Certified Sales Training Program can help you out of your slump.

If you gave a lot of great presentations and did a lot of hard work, only to watch your prospects choose to work with your competitors, we can help you fix that. The new semester of TSE Certified Sales Training Program begins in April and it would be an absolute honor to have you join us.

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Effective Onboarding, Customer Service, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast, Jamie Masters

TSE 1031: Show Our Customer Love Through Effective Onboarding

As sales reps, we often forget that we can show our customers love through effective onboarding. We invest so much of our focus on getting new customers that we don’t necessarily think about how we can deliver an awesome experience once they’ve committed.

Jamie Masters has been a business coach for over 10 years. She has interviewed close to 500 millionaires and billionaires in business in order to learn what they actually do, as opposed to what is written about them in books. As a result, she has extensive knowledge about how successful people run their businesses.

The nitty-gritty details

She says business is never pretty and certainly never perfect. But there are many cool ways, she has learned, to make the nitty-gritty details easier, better, and less stressful.

Many entrepreneurs and salespersons are visionary, big-idea thinkers who sometimes find themselves frustrated when they try to implement their ideas. It is imperative that they find someone who can help accomplish all the minor details; to help with the nitty-gritty.

Jamie used to work as a project manager – she identifies as a Super Geek – but yet even as the owner of her company, she struggles when dealing with details. She just hates it.  Her right-hand operator, however, has no problem handling details, for which Jamie is eternally grateful.

Business owners and salespeople, generally speaking, have many similar qualities. Most of the time, for example, the owner is often the salesperson for the company, particularly in the beginning. It can be difficult, however, to concentrate on the visionary quality and relationships of the business without having to worry about dropping things.

Backup person

Having a backup person who can help with the nitty-gritty details provides that opportunity. The freedom to maneuver without worry makes a huge difference.

Jamie knows from experience that people are usually super-excited about a sale at the beginning. But if important details are dropped as the process moves along, the customer will begin to have reservations and will doubt the legitimacy of the product and the sales rep.

There are ways, however, to automate the sales process which will not only allow you to keep your customers but will impress them. If you are successful in sales, the process will only repeat itself – hopefully, many times over – so why not put a system in place to make it easier for everyone?

When a company is organized, when it has a great system in place, it is exciting, as a sales rep, to execute the vision. It is exciting to share a level of expertise with your clients. It makes the clients feel important and valued as well.

The process

If, for example, you can’t find the onboarding documents to send to your new client, or you don’t know which revision to send, it only creates confusion and unnecessary stress for everyone.

As a business coach, Jamie’s clients begin by walking through each step of their current process to evaluate what works and what doesn’t work. Each piece – every email, every document – is analyzed from the viewpoint of a prospect and a client. Are the forms up-to-date? Are they relevant?

Jamie learned of many instances when a client was turned off by the onboarding experience despite the broad value of the product or service. They simply would decide to look somewhere else.

If money has not exchanged hands yet, however, you are still in the sales process. Onboarding does not begin until a payment has been processed.

She prefers to frontload the payment and to begin the onboarding experience after.

Handshake deals require a lot of work up-front but offer no guarantee. Of course, it does depend on the industry. It is important to know and understand the differences between those requiring high-touch and those that are low-touch, for example.

Your strengths

Jamie’s operator keeps things running smoothly and makes sure Jamie is doing what she needs to do.

Salespeople don’t always think about the benefit of having an assistant but they should.

Jamie believes it is important to decide how much you are willing to invest in the onboarding of your customers.

If you are dealing with high-touch sales, for example, the number of nitty-gritty details can be overwhelming. In some instances, it can involve sending welcome packets and gifts. It just depends on how you want to set it up.

Jamie usually sends a welcome packet to increase the level of touch. Her customers also have the opportunity to follow up with a person via an online forum. It enables her to gain as much information from the client as possible so that she can, in return, ensure that she meets their needs.

Love languages

The 5 Love Languages is a book with an online quiz that Jamie recommends. It will let you know if the use of love languages is appropriate for your industry. Jamie discovered that, for a business coach, it is completely appropriate.

Each person thinks differently about things. Some clients might love to receive gifts, for example. Jamie sends very tailored gift packages to her clients to make them feel special. The contents are unique, interesting, and useful, and the effort makes her business stand out.

It is also a way to acknowledge the sometimes large amounts of money your client has invested with you. It is a handwritten note but on a larger scale.  The time and effort spent personalizing the interactions you have with your client will deepen the relationship with that client.

Something as personal, yet as simple, as an actual phone call also shows that you care and are willing to go above and beyond the usual.

The goal is to reduce the number of touch points without sacrificing value. When the process is automated, you can maintain the number of touches without creating more work for yourself. Then, instead of sending one overwhelming welcome packet, you can divide the content into several gifts.

It is why Jamie prefers payment up front. It allows her to then focus on collecting the data she needs to learn more about her customers so that she can find the best way to proceed with the onboarding experience.

She sends one email or questionnaire at a time so that no amount of required paperwork takes up too much of her client’s time. It is all automated. The forms or emails are sent only as the information is needed. In this way, the client is never overwhelmed with nitty-gritty details.

Empathy for customers

Jamie’s newest program, Ownerbox.com, is for busy entrepreneurs who are all working 60 hours a week. The last thing they want to have to do is more paperwork, which creates more work with no results for the effort or the money.

Jamie doesn’t allow them into the site or the program at the beginning. Instead, they receive one video which she personally views with them. She does not want to overwhelm someone who is already super busy and stressed.

She strives to make sure their experience is smooth and simplistic. It helps to imagine herself as the customer and to then tailor the onboarding experience the way she would want to experience it.

Sometimes, as sales reps or business owners, we are too close to our own work. We continue to do things a certain way because ‘it has always been done that way.’ It is easy to see the gaps in another person’s process and realize how small tweaks along the way can make a huge difference.

Game time

Think about what you can do to make the process easier. What can you do to create an experience that will excite your client?

It has been said that ‘insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result.’ As entrepreneurs, it is sometimes all we do!

We gain another client but then scramble to find the right documents. The whole goal is to gain more clients and make more sales, but we can’t do that when we are distracted by the nitty-gritty.

Jamie strongly believes that it does not take a lot of time to rethink and clarify your onboarding experience. Something as simple as knowing the client’s birthday and setting up an automated system to send out a card will return dividends.

Your software

Nine times out of 10, people don’t like the software program they have. All software has problems but knowing your software well and making it work for you and your team is vital. Make a commitment to the software program you’ve chosen, learn it, and love it. It will save you time in the long run.

Jamie insists that we make time now in our calendars to take action on everything discussed here today. While it is not urgent to the onboarding process, it is important because it will make all the difference in the long run.

Spend an hour and make the necessary tweaks.

“Effective Onboarding” episode resources

Jamie has kindly put together an entire landing page of checklists and other information especially for TSE listeners. Find it at www.eventualmilllionare.com/TSE. You can also learn more about Jamie and her team at www.ownerbox.com.

This episode is brought to you in part by our TSE Certified Sales Training Program, which teaches you to improve your sales skills, find more customers, build stronger value, and close more deals.

The next semester begins in April.

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. It’s super easy, it’s helpful, and I recommend that you try it out.

You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss a single episode, and share with your friends!

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

 

 

Kristy Ellington, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast, understanding and managing fear

TSE 1020: TSE Certified Sales Training Program – “Understanding & Managing Fear”

Kristy Ellington, understanding and managing fearIf we allow it to, fear can hold us back and dominate our lives, but if we focus instead on understanding and managing fear, we can identify the source of our fear and we can improve our own performance.

Kristy Ellington shares today why she believes that being fearless is a myth, and how she overcame years-old fears to unlock improved performance in her own job.

Fearless

Being fearless is a myth because the truth is that everyone experiences fear. Fear doesn’t simply infect one section of our lives, but rather every part.

We get caught up in our thoughts and emotions, and fear keeps us from doing the things we want or need to do to get to the next level. Fear causes us to focus inward instead of focusing on the client, which is really detrimental in sales.

As sellers, we want to focus on our clients and how we can connect with them, but fear keeps us focused on how they perceive us, and whether they are judging us, and how we look to them.

Fight or flight

Fear triggers our natural fight-or-flight instinct, which diverts resources from our brains into our arms, legs, heart, and lungs.

It slows down our thinking so that we can’t fully analyze situations and we can’t think critically. We have no available judgment and we can’t find creative solutions because we’re afraid.

Fear hinders us in a variety of ways, but realistically it’s all in our heads and it’s all connected back to some unidentified source of fear that we have to address.

Take action

For sellers, the need to overcome fear is real, and they don’t have a lot of time to do it. They have quotas to meet and they have to pick up the phone.

Understand your trigger. If you’re afraid of picking up the phone, unpack that fear. It’s often the fear of judgment or the fear of rejection or not being professional or expert enough. You fear going off-script and looking or sounding stupid.

Use this five-step process before any big presentation or conversation:

  1. Notice. Recognize the problem. Admit when you’re afraid.
  2. Aware. Be aware of where the problem is: tightness in your throat or butterflies in your stomach.
  3. Make. Make the connection. Where did you first feel this problem? What’s the source? A bad public speaking experience?
  4. Evaluate. Is this real right now? You have no reason to believe that anyone will make fun of you, so your own thoughts are causing the fear. It isn’t real.
  5. Shift. Once you understand that your fear isn’t real, you can shift your focus back to your client.

Worst-case scenario

If you have any kind of fear, it’s always valid to determine the worst-case scenario.

If you fear elevators because you fear getting stuck and being claustrophobic, ask yourself if it’s real. Is it true that you really won’t be able to breathe in the elevator?

Is it true that the elevator is going to fall while you’re in it? That’s likely something you saw in a scary movie once.

Fear is false evidence appearing real.

Imposter Syndrome

Imposter Syndrome is huge for many people, and it prevents you from asking questions for fear that you’ll look stupid. It can prevent you from understanding the buying decision or the challenges that your customers are facing.

People also fear saying “no” to clients who aren’t the best fit for fear of what might happen. They fear failure and what failure might lead to. Maybe you don’t get the promotion or you don’t make enough commission to pay your bills.

As a result, you end up with the worst clients on earth because you bent over backward for clients that really weren’t worth the effort.

Eliminating fear

It’s probably not really realistic to think that someday you’ll be fearless. No matter what level you are in life, you’ll experience fear.

The fears for a sales development rep will be different for that of a CRO. You’ll always experience fear somehow. If you don’t experience fear somehow, you’re probably not moving forward.

You should be feeling fear. It’s a biological response. You can’t crush it or eliminate it. You must learn to manage it.

When you do, you can move forward and take inspired action that’s thoughtful and clear instead of action that’s chaotic and desperate.

Fear is really just there to protect us and keep us safe. Your brain is working to protect you from bad things that happened in the past. Our fears now are social in nature, but they manifest in the same way that physical threats did generations ago.

We don’t have to spend so much time being afraid of fear.

Leadership fears

Leaders are just as afraid of looking stupid as the rest of us, just on a different level. They inadvertently create a culture of fear because they are operating from fear.

The stressors are different because they have more responsibility.

As you address fears, it becomes easier to manage them.

“That which we consistently do becomes easier, not because the nature of the thing changes but our ability changes.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Fear into confidence

It’s possible to turn fear into confidence.

You have to be comfortable with emotion because it’s an important part of sales. Empathy is an important part of the work sellers do.

If you’re running from emotion, it will make your job much tougher. Embrace emotion. Embrace fear. Start to learn what that looks like.

“Understanding & Managing Fear” episode resources

You can connect with Kristy on LinkedIn, Twitter, or on her website KristyEllington.com

If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss a single episode. Share it with your friends who would benefit from learning more.

This episode is brought to you in part by prospect.io, a powerful sales automation platform that allows you to build highly personalized, cold email campaigns. To learn more, go to prospect.io/tse. It will help you with your outbound to expand your outreach. It allows you to set it and forget it. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.

Prospect.io is offering three months at half-price.

Previously known as TSE Hustler’s League, our TSE Certified Sales Program offers modules that you can engage on your own schedule as well as opportunities to engage with other sellers in other industries.

This episode is brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. It’s super easy, it’s helpful, and I recommend that you try it out. You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

Mailtag.io will give you half-off your subscription for life when you use the Promo Code: Donald at check out.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast, emotional intelligence

TSE 1005: TSE Certified Sales Training Program- “Emotional Intelligence”

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast

 

 

 

 

Sometimes small problems grow into much bigger problems, and without emotional intelligence to help you address misunderstandings, these problems can affect your relationships with prospects and clients.

Have you ever met up with a friend who suddenly became upset but, to you, the thing they were upset about wasn’t a huge problem? When you react, it becomes something bigger, and before you know it – you are arguing with each other without really knowing what you are even arguing about?!

You can have similar situations with a prospect. The client loses interest, or maybe, becomes so upset they no longer want to do business with you ever again.

What happened? Why does it go wrong? The answer: Emotional intelligence.

These situations affect both sellers and buyers, so our TSE Certified Sales Training Program will help you identify these problems before they escalate.

The TSE Certified Sales Training Program is designed to help sellers at every level, from new sellers to seasoned professionals. The course has three main sections of four modules each. Tackle each section on your own or participate in a group. [01:58]

Surface-level problems

I was running a meeting last week when one of the committee members had an issue outside the topic we were discussing. The challenge she proposed began to derail the entire meeting.

What was I to do?

I realized that it was a surface-level problem rather than a true issue. We decided, therefore, to have a one-on-one discussion to address it instead.

Turns out, there was so much more she wanted to talk about than what was originally mentioned during the meeting. If I had entertained the issue during the meeting, it would have derailed the entire event for the entire group.

No money was involved, but imagine a similar scenario when working with a client. A client or prospect presents you with a surface-level problem. Then, because of a lack of emotional intelligence, people focus on that problem instead of the underlying issue.

Emotional intelligence

Suppose your client says they will not renew their contract. They might be upset because the project was late. Perhaps they are downsizing. Or maybe they no longer have the budget for it.

Those are not the true issues.

Emotional intelligence is the capacity to be aware of, to control, and to express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.

Empathy

In Stephen Covey’s book, The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People, empathy is defined as seeking first to understand, then to be understood.

Back to the client who is no longer interested, we have to dig deeper to find out the true reason for their decision.

Someone with a high level of emotional intelligence is able to see things from the prospect’s perspective. Rather than take the lack of interest as something personal, they are able to investigate and realize the core issue instead.

It’s tempting to think about how the decision affects me:

  • What did I do wrong?
  • How will this affect my commission?

Instead, as the seller, we need to think about the buyer.

  • What will happen to the buyer?
  • Why did he change his mind?
  • Is this the real issue?
  • What caused him to feel upset or frustrated?
  • What changed?

It could be that the buyer didn’t get their second round of funding and now has to do some trimming. The service you provide is still important to them but it is not mission critical to the function of their organization.

That is something, as a seller, that you would want to know.

When you put yourself in the buyer’s shoes and seek to understand, you may find other ways to be of assistance.

Is there something else you can do? Is there another value that you can bring? Maybe you can introduce them to someone else in the industry.

Bring value

When you focus on being helpful instead of on selling your product or service, you have attained a high level of emotional intelligence.

Recognize that it is not about you, or your bottom line. It is about serving your client.

People sometimes lash out or seem angry. Perhaps they had a bad morning or an argument with their spouse. Maybe that team member who annoys you so badly is having trouble paying his bills.

Your job is to not react to surface level issues. Your job is to understand the true source of the problem so that you help to find a solution.

Your job is to bring value to the situation.

Don’t simply react to the emotions. Be a problem solver instead.

Emotional intelligence is something you can build on. It will help you tremendously in the early stages of the sales process.

Put yourself in your buyer’s shoes. Connect on a human level and realize that your client is not just the CEO or the marketing director. He is a human being with goals. When you recognize that, you will create a foundation of trust.

Then, if something does change, he will be willing to discuss the true issues with you. It will also help you guide your buyers toward a close.

Try not to react to difficult situations. Seek first to understand. Remember that there are two sides to every situation: the side they let us see and the side they don’t want us to see.

Your job is to identify the real reason for the situation so that you can help provide solutions.

Don’t react to surface-level problems. Dig a little deeper.

“Emotional Intelligence” episode resources

This episode is brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. It’s super easy, it’s helpful, and I recommend that you try it out.

They are offering a 14-day free trial, and half off your subscription when you use the code Donald at checkout.

This episode is brought to you in part by prospect.io, a powerful sales automation platform that allows you to build highly personalized, cold email campaigns. To learn more, go to prospect.io/tse. It will help you with your outbound to expand your outreach. It allows you to set it and forget it. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.

Previously known as TSE Hustler’s League, our TSE Certified Sales Program offers modules that you can engage on your own schedule as well as opportunities to engage with other sellers in other industries.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss a single episode, and share with your friends!

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

TSE Podcast, The Sales Evangelist, Donald Kelly

TSE 855: TSE Hustler’s League-“Think About The Prospect”

TSE Podcast, The Sales Evangelist, Donald KellyWant to change the way you sell?

Think about the prospect. Seek one individual you can help every day, and it will change the way you operate.

Today on The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League, we discuss how to empathize with your prospect and put yourself in his shoes. By doing so, you’ll add value and you’ll become the kind of seller buyers want to buy from.

I learned this paradigm shift in the book, Stop Selling & Start Leading: How to Make Extraordinary Sales Happenfrom our sponsors at Wiley. It’s a fantastic blueprint of all the things buyers say they expect from sellers and want from sellers.

I’m offering a free excerpt of the book to this community of sellers so you can check it out for yourself.

Understand your customer

Understanding your customer is such a basic concept that sometimes we overlook it.

As a man of faith, I’ve been known to pray and ask God to lead me to someone who could benefit from my services.

If I can put myself in the customer’s shoes and understand his difficulties, then I can help him solve problems. I have to listen, understand his struggles, and focus more on solving his problems than on making the sale.

I recommend you remind yourself to think about the prospect every day.

Stephen Covey, in his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, says we must seek first to understand people, and then to be understood. Far too often we try to push something to our prospects that they don’t need.

Also, though, we have to understand the hurdles they are up against.

If, for example, you’re an interior house painter, and your prospect needs his walls painted, but he doesn’t have the time to wash them first, seek to understand his situation. He has other fires to put out. He has other priorities.

Demonstrate understanding by acknowledging his dilemma. Perhaps you’ll even incorporate washing the walls into the cost of painting them and wash the walls for him.

Adopt your customer’s point of view

My own clients tell me they are trying to grow their organization, or that they don’t feel comfortable talking to prospects. Sometimes they tell me that cold calling isn’t working for them.

These are the problem I’m helping them solve. The solution, of course, is sales training, but my focus in on the problems I’m helping them solve.

View your product or service as a solution instead of a sale. Understand that you’re selling them a way to operate their business so they can continue collecting money from their customers.

Take 30 minutes today to look at your product or service from the customer’s point of view. Ask what issues you can help him solve.

Do you feel a personal obligation to help him? If you don’t, your performance will be haphazard, and you won’t enjoy your work.

Your customers are tired of sales people. They want sales leaders. They want you to think about the prospect.

“Think About The Prospect” resources

If all of this sounds great to you but you still aren’t sure how to start, check out The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League, an online group coaching program that brings sellers of all levels and all industries together to share insights.

You can also join our Facebook group, The Sales Evangelizersto connect with sales professionals from all walks of life.

Leave us a review wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss a single episode.

Audio provided by Free SFX.

SaveSave

SaveSave

Bob Burg, Donald Kelly, The Go-Giver Influencer

TSE 821: The Go-Giver: Influence

Bob Burg, Donald Kelly, The Go-Giver InfluencerInfluence is the ability to move someone toward a desired action, but there’s much more to it. It’s the ability to draw people toward something instead of pushing them toward it.

For sales professionals, influence attempts to gain commitment because it’s in the client’s best interest rather than to gain compliance.

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, Bob Burg helps us understand the role of influence in sales, and where we’re going wrong in our dealings with customers.

Understand why they buy.

No one will buy from you because you really need the money, or because you’re great, or because you have a quota to meet. They buy because it’s in their best interest.

The goal of selling is to discover what the other person needs and wants and to help him get that.

If you are at a place in your sales career where you “really need the money,” suspend your desperation.

Master your emotions.

When you are in control of your own emotions, you are more likely to turn a negative situation into a win for everyone involved.  When you allow yourself to become frustrated, helpless, or angry, you become part of the problem.

This doesn’t require ignoring your emotions, but rather controlling them instead of allowing them to control you.

Step into the other person’s shoes.

This sounds easy enough, but the reality is that we have different sized feet. We don’t understand the other person’s belief system or world view, which originates from his upbringing, his schooling and his experiences.

We tend to assume everyone else’s worldview is the same as ours, but it isn’t the case. Our beliefs are frequently in conflict with someone else. We should always be aware of these differences.

Set the proper frame.

A frame provides context. When a toddler falls down, he often looks to his parents to determine how he should respond. If they demonstrate alarm, he will too.

Setting a productive frame creates an environment in which people know how to operate. In the case of sales, it means saying something like, “We simply can’t know if this is right for you without exploring further. This conversation is a chance for both of us to make sure it’s a good fit.”

You’ve set a frame of discovering together which removes the pressure for the customer.

The law of the out says that the bigger back door you give someone to take, the less likely they are to take it.

The frame is the context of the situation, and it’s more important even than the content.

Communicate with tact and empathy.

Tact is the language of strength. It allows us to help people see things in a different way without feeling criticized.

Empathy is identifying with another person’s feelings. Recognize, though, that empathy doesn’t necessarily mean understanding how he feels; rather it ‘s an acknowledgement that he is feeling something distressing or confusing.

Choose your words in a way that won’t make the other person feel defensive or bad.

Let go of having to be right.

This doesn’t mean you don’t care about being right. It means you keep an open mind, and realize that you won’t always be right.

Hear the other person’s perspective. Challenge your own premise. Don’t be so attached to being right that you miss what the other person is saying.

When you give up the attachment to being right, the other person tends to drop his defenses because they don’t have the sense that you are trying to win.

Your product or service doesn’t have to be perfect. Its benefits simply have to outweigh its liabilities.

Episode resources

“You can have everything in life you want if you help enough other people get what they want.” ~Zig Ziglar

Connect with Bob at www.thegogiver.com where you can find the book series The Go-Giver.

Check out The Sales Evangelizers on Facebook to connect with sellers of all levels and all industries. Learn what they are doing, share ideas, and compare notes with sellers from all over the world.

Audio provided by Free SFX.

Empathy, Donald Kelly, Selling to Prospect

TSE 805: TSE Hustler’s League-“Empathy”

Empathy, Donald Kelly, Selling to ProspectSales professionals often overlook empathy. Because we’re focused on selling a product and closing a deal, we often neglect to understand our customers.

In today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we discuss the role of empathy in the sales process, and why sales professionals must understand their prospects in order to build value.

What do they need?

If we don’t truly understand what our prospects need, we may be trying to sell them the wrong thing. Perhaps there’s something they need more than the thing I’m selling.

When we seek to understand, it shifts our focus from what we’re trying to accomplish to what our prospects need from us.

When you present yourself as someone who offers value, you set yourself apart from the many other sales professionals your customer encounters. Begin with empathy.

How do they use your product?

You may be surprised to find that your customers don’t use your product the way you think they do. They may not even use it the way it was designed to be used.

When I sold software, I discovered that our customers were using it for things it was never built to do.

Because I took the time to interview my customers and discover how they were using the product, I was able to articulate the value of the software to new prospects.

Begin by defining your product or service from your customer’s point of view. Are you able to define it that way?

How are you making them feel?

When you engage in cold outreach, are you providing value to your prospects? Are you sending them email with content that might be useful to them, or are you simply asking them for the sale?

If you haven’t already discovered it, imbedding video in your emails can set you apart from other sales professionals.

I recently connected with someone to provide value, and ultimately she became a prospect, and potentially a client.

Shift your paradigm to ask your prospect how you can help.

Episode resources

If you want to build stronger value and demonstrate your ability to solve problems for your prospects, check out The Sales Evangelist’s Hustler’s League. It’s an online group coaching program that brings together sellers of all abilities to share solutions and ideas.

If you’d like more information about our upcoming podcast, Sold, email me. We’ll interview decision-makers about the things they like and the things they don’t like in the sales process so we can learn from the people who make up our audience. You’ll be among the first to hear the details of our newest venture.

Check out BombBomb or Soapbox to make your emails stand out among all those your prospects will see today.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ~ Maya Angelou

Audio provided by Free SFX.